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Barbados Gov’t confident: Inniss: Barbados will be removed from blacklist

EU-COMMISSIONFrom The Barbados Advocate

A Government minister is optimistic that Barbados will soon have its name removed from the European Commission’s tax haven blacklist.

The list of 30 territories, of which almost half were Caribbean countries, was issued in June and has been largely criticised by several Caribbean heads who have been demanding that their countries be removed from the list.

Speaking to the media following the signing of a double taxation agreement (DTA) with Italy yesterday morning, Minister of Commerce, Industry, International Business and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss, said this country’s inclusion on that list was unwarranted. He further noted that Barbados has been at the forefront in terms of transparency on matters related to international tax co-operation and he believes that there has been enough of a genuine refute of the list that merits the Commission not waiting the originally stated year to review it. Inniss made the point as he maintained that the international business and financial services sector is critical to the local economy, contributing about $900 million annually and so it is important that it maintains a good reputation as a clean jurisdiction that is transparent and “based on substance”.

Inniss indicated that Government has taken several steps to show its co-operation in these matters, such that in addition to the country’s current bid to become a signatory to the multilateral Convention on Mutual Administrative Assistance in Tax Matters, local authorities have also notified the Global Forum of the country’s commitment to implement the new global standards of automatic exchange of information and have also signed the inter-governmental agreement to implement the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act with the United States. With that in mind, he said Spain has already indicated there was an error in terms of the European Commission’s classification of Barbados and this country will be removed from their list. With that I mind, Minister Inniss said he expects that with the signing of the bilateral agreement with Italy, they will follow suit soon.

IMAGE: From left: Minister of Commerce, Industry, International Business and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss exchanges the signed double taxation agreements with Italy’s Special Envoy for the Caribbean, Paolo Serpi.

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